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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:56 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of Jim Dowd Jim Dowd Labour, Lewisham West and Penge 2:56 pm, 1st February 2017

That is indeed precisely the point. We can do that, and we can do it now.

The reason UKIP has so little traction in London, for example, is that most Londoners, within a generation or two, are immigrants themselves—not necessarily from overseas, but from other parts of the United Kingdom: from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the north or the south-west. The idea of “the other” is nothing new to Londoners. I agree with what Members have said about the pace of social change. People need to feel that they are in control of it, that there is a role for them, and that they understand the nature of the change that is being effected.

I will vote as I have indicated because I believe it to be right. That might, in the fullness of time, prove to be a mistake on my part, but I nevertheless believe it to be right. What worries and depresses me about today’s proceedings is that I fear that many Members will vote tonight for something that they know is not right, because it is expedient for them to do so. I shall not join those ranks. I shall do whatever I can to ensure that the deal that will inevitably follow is the best it can possibly be, but I will not be complicit in undermining the position of the British people.